02 April 2008

An Aussie in Florida


I photographed this big roach one nite last week in my in-laws' backyard in Florida. It was ~3 cm long. A quick search on BugGuide.net identified it as an Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae). The distinguishing characteristic of this species is the yellow border around its thorax.

They were introduced to southern U.S. presumably from Australia, and now appear to have become naturalized at least in Florida. In other words, along with the snail Bradybaena similaris and the myriads of other alien creatures, they are here to stay.


This particular individual was quite docile. Unlike some other cockroaches I am familiar with (for example, the German cockroach, Blattella germanica), it allowed to get get quite close to it and didn't attempt to run away until after I started poking around with a stick to move the grass blades out of the way for a better picture.


Snail said...

Gak! Those horrible things were the bane of my life when I lived in warmer climes. They invade houses, poop everywhere, eat paper and stick their Minnie Mouse handbag oothecae to the spines of books.

Sorry. Just had to vent.

Dave Coulter said...

note to snail - But apart from that they're OK, huh? :)


At least they don't hiss at you.

Anonymous said...

I personally would call this a large and handsome cockroach.

I feel that we just have to get used to living with these anthropophilic creatures. After all, they would not be where they are if it was not for human activities disrupting the original ecosystem and accidentally transporting species from A to B.

It seems that most of us would prefer to live completely isolated from the various animal species that prefer to live with or near us. Perhaps instead we should be glad that at least a few species are prepared to "hang out" with us. I must say I think I draw the line at beg bugs however!


Snail said...

But apart from that they're OK, huh? :)


Oh, except that they would sometimes lurk under the rim of the toilet ...

I prefer the native cockroaches that currently share my house. They are just as big, rather more handsome and have better manners.

At least they don't hiss at you.

They might give you a bit of a menacing look, though!

Anonymous said...

just woke up and caught one laying on my living room floor on his back with his legs up like he owned the place, why cant aussies stick to their own island